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Your car is your pride and joy and practically a family member. Many vehicle owners spend hours in the garage putting personal touches on their machines to distinguish them from everyone else’s. How can you make your car stand out in a crowd? Here are 10 cool ways to customize your car and impress your friends.
1. Add Seat Covers
Customizing your seats is a simple way to enhance the look of your interior. You can choose from various styles and materials, such as vinyl or polyester. Leather is also a popular choice providing a classic and modern appearance. However, you should be careful in the summer because direct sunlight damages leather and makes it uncomfortable to sit on.
Some covers come with the option to heat them, making them popular in colder climates. You can install retrofitted heated seats or buy ones that plug into the cigarette lighter. Seat covers are a great way to protect your interior from stains and outdoor elements. You don’t have to cry over spilled milk because most covers are machine washable.
Seat covers can provide excellent coverage against unwanted mold and rust. Even water can harm your vehicle if the liquid seeps into your car and touches metal. Water and oxygen react to create rust — one of the worst silent killers of cars. Rust damages paint and deteriorates critical components, making seat covers one of the cool ways to customize your car.
2. Use a Steering Wheel Cover
Steering wheel covers are a fantastic addition if you’re looking for how to customize your car on a budget. Additionally, you can use these covers to keep your steering wheel clean and prevent overheating. If you live in the South, you know all too well how hot to the touch the steering wheel can get in July and August. Covers come in clutch to protect leather steering wheels because they deteriorate quickly.
You can also make artistic statements by customizing your steering wheel covers. Modern designs let you take the wheel in style with retro schemes. For example, Bohemian and flower schemes were famous in the 1960s and 1970s. Black and gray are popular colors for steering wheel covers, but don’t be afraid to add your spin to the design.
3. Update Your Dashboard
Dashboards are standard for car owners, displaying the speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge and engine temperature. However, there is still plenty of room for customization. How to customize a car the easy way starts with dashboard stickers. These jokes can poke fun at passengers and tell them to pay for gas or hold onto their seats because you’re they’re in for a bumpy ride.
Funny dashboard stickers are meant to be jokes, so you shouldn’t actually exceed 200mph like a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. In fact, you can heighten safety on your dashboard by adding phone mounts. These devices hold your phone or GPS to prevent you from holding your phone while driving. The last thing you need is a wreck that sends your beautiful car to the mechanic.
4. Personalize Your Pedals
Gas and brake pedals are customizable and are one of the underrated cool ways to customize your car. You can spruce up your pedals with racing stripes for a more masculine vibe. Another idea is creating a sense of luxury with crystal-encrusted pedals. What says riding in style more than setting your foot on diamond or emerald-designed pedals? They might not add speed or acceleration, but you’ll feel more confident behind the wheel.
Jewel-encrusted pedals can be a bit pricey, so don’t hesitate to look for less expensive alternatives. Some creative designs turn your gas and brake pedals into the shape of feet, creating great laughs for anyone who gets in your car. They may look funny, but some feet pedals have beautiful chrome finishes.
5. Install Floor Lights
There’s no shame in wondering how to customize cars while making a splash. Installing floor lights is one of the gaudier ways to upgrade your vehicle. LEDs are popular for brightening the interior and creating an intimate atmosphere. They’re also excellent for increasing safety on your drive home. Back roads might not provide adequate lighting, so lights help everyone in the vehicle see.
LED lights are awesome because they come in so many different colors and designs. Red would be a terrific choice for date nights, while yellow and orange promote more joyous occasions. Additionally, LED lights are suitable choices because of their energy efficiency. The Department of Energy (DOE) says LEDs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and emit less heat, keeping your car cool during the summer.
6. Enhance the Headliner
The headline is the material on your roof. The feature provides better insulation and reduces wind and traffic noises. You can elevate your interior with luxurious leather material or create a cozy atmosphere with a starry night scene. Imagine parking the car on a cool fall night and seeing the stars shining. That’s what we call magical.
You can change the headliner by looking up “how-to” videos on YouTube. If you’re not that handy, you can find companies to install it for you, such as J&J Seat Cover.
7. Spray Some Fragrance
Imagine you pick up somebody for a first date. This person has never been in your car, making this a big moment. Before your date, you should clean up trash in the seats or floorboards. We’ve all been there with water bottles or McDonald’s cups, but you should throw them away and clean your seats. Another smart way to give your car personality is to spray fragrances and create a unique smell.
Hanging tree air fresheners from your mirror is an easy way to improve the smell. These tiny trees are inexpensive and easy to replace once they’re no longer useful. Try changing the scent based on the season to prove your thoughtfulness. For example, your fall dates will be much better if you put a pumpkin spice scent in October or citrus scents in the spring.
Some luxury car brands have air filtration systems that let you customize the scent flowing through your car. For example, many Mercedes-Benz models have an Air Balance package. This system has perfumed vials in the glove department, dispersing scents in the air vents. Now, the question of how to customize your car and make it smell good becomes much more straightforward. Your passengers will especially appreciate the scents after a trip to the gym.
8. Personalize Your License Plate
There are a few ways to customize your exterior and make it stand out. One popular customization is a personalized license plate. Try creating a funny nickname or phrase that best describes you or your vehicle. Your license plate is also an excellent opportunity to promote your business by adding the company logo or name.
When considering a license plate name, be mindful of state laws regarding what you can and can’t put. For instance, most states forbid you from writing profane language on your license plate because it’s technically government property. Come up with something catchy, even if you only have an eight-character maximum. Some examples include:
- NOT GLTY
- OH YEAH
- OMG ICU
9. Spruce it up With New Paint
Imagine you just bought your car fresh from the dealership or an online seller. You love everything about the vehicle, from its V8 engine to the spacious cargo. You’re wondering how to customize your car to make it perfect because it’s missing something, and then it hits you. The last thing you need to do is give it a new paint job. This customization is famous for making your vehicle look fresh and stylish.
Paint jobs are a terrific upgrade because they’re generally inexpensive and are easy enough to do by yourself — although more complex jobs may require a professional. You can keep it simple and use a clean scheme throughout the car or add some personality. Some examples include racing stripes, stars or lightning strikes.
Your new paint job could be an opportunity to emulate your favorite driver on the Formula One or NASCAR circuits. Imagine driving around town with Jeff Gordon’s iconic rainbow warriors scheme or the orange flames. The Formula One route will catch attention when you have Max Versappen’s Red Bull livery on your Honda.
10. Tint Your Windows
Do you want to cruise the streets with mystique to your car? Consider getting tints for your window. This upgrade provides privacy yet makes your car look more stylish with a darker color. Tinted windows blend with any exterior, so there’s no worry about compromising your style. These darker windows also promote privacy by making it harder for thieves to look into your car, whether daytime or nighttime.
Window tinting is easy enough to do at home, requiring window film and window tint plus an application solution. If you make it a do-it-yourself (DIY) project, be mindful of state laws surrounding window tints. For example, Pennsylvania requires 70% of light to transmit through your window. Completely dark windows can get you into trouble with law enforcement.
How to Customize Cars the Cool Way
Cars are like a blank canvas. You can use your paintbrush to decorate them however you like, whether you install floor lights, give it a new paint job or add a steering wheel cover. The possibilities are endless for customization. Use these 10 cool ways to customize your car, and let us know how it works!
Originally written 6/8/2022 — Last Updated 9/12/2023